The fines stem from a 2006 deal Thaksin made that netted his family $1.9 billion
On Tuesday, Thai officials ordered the country’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to pay approximately $511m in taxes and fines from a decade-old controversy.
The issue stems from the sale of Shin Corporation, a telecommunications company founded by Thaksin, to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings in 2006. The deal, which brought the Shinawatra family $1.9 billion, invoked fury among those opposed to his government, and he was subsequently ousted in a 2006 military coup.
The bill was posted at Thaksin’s former home in Bangkok, where he lived before going into exile in 2008 to avoid prison over a graft conviction that he claims was politically motivated.
While Thaksin’s supporters have said that the tax bill is also politically motivated, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha posited otherwise, saying tax officials “posted the summons at his house like they would in every other case”. Chan-ocha took power during a 2014 coup that saw the ouster of Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, from her post as prime minister.
“This is about a violation of the law and has nothing to do with reconciliation,” Chan-ocha told reporters, referring to a recent government-backed initiative to initiate talks between the country’s rival political factions.
Thaksin will appeal the Thai Revenue Department’s decision to collect the taxes, his legal advisor, Noppadon Pattam, announced on Wednesday. The advisor added that Thaksin has appointed a team of lawyers to fight the case and that the team will file an appeal with the revenue department’s appeal committee.
Deputy prime minister Wissanu Kreangam said earlier this month that the government has a deadline of 31 March to collect the money from Thaksin.